Nordic takes Chicago (now upadated with killer photos)

Thanks so much to Chicago’s sharpest shooter, MIRIAM DOAN, for all of today’s photos.

Eight years ago when KRYE TUFF (Rep. Gordon Hintz–D) nearly beat C-DIDDY and forced BJÖRN TÜROQUE into an unprecedented 3rd place at the US Finals in Los Angeles (as immortalized in the hit documentary Air Guitar Nation), he had no idea that he would one day move back to his native Oshkosh and become an honorable State Representative. “But my highest honor, the true feather in my cap, has been judging tonight’s US Air Guitar competition,” which was not said by Hintz, although I certainly felt it as he swung the gavel from the judges’ bench. He, along with comedian Ben Bowman (from Chicago’s Whiskey Rebellion improv lore) and 2008 World Champion HOT LIXX HULAHAN, were the finest panel of judges I’ve seen all season. They were consistent, entertaining without bogarting the mic, and best of all when I ran over to confirm the scores I saw each one of them taking notes.

Possibly my favorite quote of 2011 came when tonight’s judge, Representative Tuff, was sticking it to the honorable governor of his fine state back in March: “If you want to jam through a bill, you’ve got to sit through the messy process that is democracy.” Runner up for my favorite quote of 2011 came when Rep. Tuff was listing his credentials to me. “I basically haven’t taken off my air guitar since LA,” quipped Rep. Tuff. “I bring it everywhere I go, but I’m pretty much in the ‘county fair’ stage of my career — weddings, bar mitzvahs, you know, stuff like that.”

Brothers THUNDERGLAND (tops) and MR. SERIOUS (bottoms) are, in fact, related.

Tonight’s show, the first of the 2011 season, opened with a brand new act by BJÖRN TÜROQUE and Hot Lixx that they composed last night while on Ambien at the hotel. Video of this does exist but they won’t let me post it.

The talent tonight was as good as the judging. Second rounders OLD GLORY (Colin Bach), MR. SERIOUS (Lee Barats), ROCKIE RHOADS (Gina Czarkowski), VAN DAMMAGE and Cleoplectra (Luke and Nicole Sevcik) better make an appearance when we come back and play Milwaukee and Kalamazoo June 8th and 9th.

VON JUPITER got totally shafted into like 15th place, but those are the breaks. I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of him. Our pal and managing schmeditor FLYING FINN ( was also totally misunderstood. The guy wolfed out.

The half time show led by 2010 US Champion ROMEO DANCECHEETAH and his FLAVOR SAVORS backup as accompanied by LAZE-AIR SHOW were fantastic. “Airnadette good,” reported Hot Lixx.

Flavor Savors

As is often the case, tonight belonged to two people: newcomer DRY ICE (Aaron Alonso) and NORDIC THUNDER (Justin Howard). Dry Ice reminded me of that super scary, super in control dude from No Country for Old Men, and also Philadelphia’s WINDHAMMER (Robert Weychert). No smiles, sinister, and always in control. Only Dry Ice was completely out of fucking control and had like 5 sharpie’s worth of ink all across his back and was like an Ambien nightmare incarnate–which is to say, he’s totally dreamy. In the end, though, tonight was Nordic’s. I’ll leave it to Hot Lixx to sum it up: “Tonight was Nordic: Perfected. It was his pinnacle performance. He nailed it, as evidenced by my chills.” My only worry is when Nordic’s first round score was being announced, I noticed he was grabbing his lower back no matter how hard he tried to hide it from the crowd. A serious injury set him way back a few years ago, and our prAirs are with him that it’s just a tweak.

Dry Ice, as cool as he was in 8th grade science.

Look guys, everything was fantastic. I don’t know what else to tell you. We chose the right town to host the finals this year.